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‘Memphis,’ A Musical About Love & Racism, Comes To The Hippodrome

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– A 1950s blues singer falls in love with a quirky, fast-talking DJ. The Tony Award-winning musical “Memphis” is on the Hippodrome stage this week.

And as Gigi Barnett explains, Baltimore audiences are calling it an “oldie but a goodie.”

The music of “Memphis” is a sultry mix of blues, rock-and-roll and gospel. It’s all wrapped around a love story set in the turbulent South on Beale Street, and Baltimore crowds are falling in love with the performance.

“Every night without fail, someone is standing on their feet. Everyone is standing on their feet,” Felicia Boswell, a cast member, said.

Boswell plays Felicia Farrell, a blues singer with hopes of becoming a recording artist.

She meets and falls for fast-talking R&B DJ Huey Calhoun, played by Brian Fenkart. But the couple’s dreams of success and love are soon interrupted by violent racism.

Boswell and Fenkart say it’s an issue that still needs attention.

“It’s a very necessary story to tell. It shows how far we’ve come, but also how much further we have to go,” Boswell said.

“We’ve actually had a couple of times where Huey and Felicia, they kiss on stage and we’ve had a few walk-outs,” Fenkart said.

But not in Baltimore. It’s the oldie-but-goodie-style music that drawing crowds night after night.

“This is an original story, with original music that’s really catchy and sexy and upbeat and energetic,” Fenkart said. “It has such a good message that is also incredibly entertaining.”

The original score of “Memphis” was written by David Brian who is one of the founding band members of Bon Jovi.

“Memphis” runs through the weekend at the Hippodrome.

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